Asaro – yam porridge has long been a favourite of mine. To me, its like jollof for yams due to the way in which the fresh yams are cooked in blended peppers, tomatoes and onions to make a porridge/pottage that is oh so yummy and warming and absolutely perfect for this time of the year here in the UK.
To upgrade this dish, you can add a wealth of other ingredients such as smoked meats, smoked fish, seafood e.t.c. to add an extra layer of flavour. I tend to go for whatever I have at home at the time, giving me absolute flexibility and unpredictability when it comes to this dish.
This dish is perfect for a mid-week meal as it’s so quick and easy to make or as a decadent weekend dish complete with all manner of additional ingredients that take your fancy including vegetables such as spinach or ugwu (pumpkin leaves).
This recipe is pretty basic – I see this as a foundation level for Asaro making for those who have never made it before. If you wish to upgrade this recipe, feel free to add in other meat/fish/vegetable ingredients along the way.
As they say when you talk too much, “Enough is enough“… lets cook!
Easy Asaro - Yam Porridge
- 5 thick slices of fresh yam
- Blended pepper (Tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper & onions)
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 x stock cubes
- 2 x tbsp Palm oil/Vegetable oil (optional)
- 1/2 small onion
- Pre-soaked stock fish (optional)
- 2 x tbsp grounded crayfish (optional)
- Prepare the yam by slicing initially before cutting into 4 quarters. Clean the yam pieces in cold water and leave to rest in a pot of cold water. There should be enough water to cover the top of the yam pieces.
- Place the pot of yam in water on a medium heat with a cover, season with some salt and add the pre-soaked smoked fish if you are using this. Allow to boil for 12-15 minutes.This will allow the fish to soften further.
- Meanwhile in another pot, reduce your blended pepper mixture. Once the yam and smoked fish has boiled, add this to the pepper mixture along with some palm oil, stock cube and crayfish if you are using this.
- Mix once, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium, letting the mixture cook slowly for 10 minutes until the yam is completely soft. After 10 minutes, take a potato masher and mash some of the yams. Mix some more and reduce the heat to low for a further 5 minutes. After this time, just leave the lid on the pot so as to steam cook till you serve.
- Serve and garnish to suit. I used some salad onion slices and red onion slices as I love the crunch you get from these onions. Plus, it made me laugh as it looked like the Asaro had a Sunday hat on 😛